When Your Competitor “Buys the Listing”

A competing agent is buying the listing by recommending what you think is a too high list price. This is a common complaint. Another agent is competing with you for a listing and buys the listing at a price you know the market will not support. The seller probably likes the idea of the higher price and either you lose the listing and hope to be the second choice for the seller, or you feel trapped into listing at higher price. Neither of these options is attractive. So, what’s the solution? Here’s one way to approach it based on the script of the strategy that I’ve discussed with one of my coaching students.

“I understand that the higher price the other agent is suggesting to you is attractive. However the question a savvy Sellers like you will want to ask is whether the other agent is doing what we Real estate professionals call buying the listing. In other words does the other agent really believe that he or she can sell the house at or near their price? Or does the agent plan to just drag the price down overtime? This strategy hurts you in several ways: the listing is quickly identified as overpriced, showing activity decreases, and low ball offers come in. The time it takes to sell your home also goes up.

My recommendation is to price it right from the start. However if you truly want to try agent and get the higher price, test the other agent’s commitment to that price by asking if he or she will release the listing to me if at some point the price is reduced to the list price I’m recommending. If he answers no, that’s a sign that the agent isn’t confident that he or she can sell your home for more than I recommended. If I were a seller, that answer would make me nervous.

You could then end by adding something about your unique selling proposition, which could be your personal track record, or team statistics. Then ask for action. “Would you be willing to test the other agent’s commitment to that price by asking them to agree in writing to release the listing to me if the prices reduced to the list price I’m suggesting?”

This is a powerful script. It may not work every time but it’s an approach, which educate sellers and can often result in you getting the listing at a lower list price.

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